Russian Culture

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program


The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures offers a minor in Russian Culture. Students desiring to major with an emphasis in Russian language, literature, or culture should see the requirements for the major track in Russian/East European/Eurasian Cultures offered under the Slavic Languages and Literatures major.

Heritage Speakers of Russian

Heritage speakers include those who grew up in Russian-speaking families but are without a standard Russian language educational background. Heritage speakers may select any major or minor track offered by the department except the minor in Russian Language. The unit requirements are the same for all majors and minors. However, the balance between courses approved for and taken in language and literature/culture may change depending on each student’s language proficiency. The choice of specific courses in language and literature/culture for any respective major or minor track will be determined on an individual basis by the language coordinator, Oksana Willis: Before enrolling in language courses and declaring a major or minor, heritage speakers are required to take a proficiency/placement test.

Declaring the Minor

Students considering a minor track involving language requirements must see the undergraduate student services adviser early on to have to have their minor study list plan reviewed and approved; referral for language proficiency screening and placement for heritage or native speakers is required. Final approval for a minor rests with the major adviser. The paperwork for the minor, called an L&S Confirmation of Minor form, is completed with the undergraduate student services adviser no later than the semester before the student's Expected Graduation Term (EGT).

Other Minors offered by the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

Armenian Studies (Minor only)
East European/Eurasian Languages and/or Cultures (Minor Only)
Russian Language (Minor only)
Russian Literature (Minor only)
Slavic Languages and Literatures (Major only)

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Minor Requirements

Students who have a strong interest in an area of study outside their major often decide to complete a minor program. These programs have set requirements.

General Guidelines

  1. All minors must be declared before the first day of classes in your Expected Graduation Term (EGT). For summer graduates, minors must be declared prior to the first day of Summer Session A. 

  2. All upper-division courses must be taken for a letter grade. 

  3. A minimum of three of the upper-division courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements must be completed at UC Berkeley.

  4. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required in the upper-division courses to fulfill the minor requirements.

  5. Courses used to fulfill the minor requirements may be applied toward the Seven-Course Breadth requirement, for Letters & Science students.

  6. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs.

  7. All minor requirements must be completed prior to the last day of finals during the semester in which the student plans to graduate. If students cannot finish all courses required for the minor by that time, they should see a College of Letters & Science adviser.

  8. All minor requirements must be completed within the unit ceiling. (For further information regarding the unit ceiling, please see the College Requirements tab.)


Lower Division Prerequisites 1
RUSSIAN 1Elementary Russian5
RUSSIAN 2Elementary Russian5
RUSSIAN 3Intermediate Russian5
RUSSIAN 4Intermediate Russian5
Upper Division Requirements
Select five upper division courses in Russian language and/or Russian and other Slavic literatures and cultures 2
RUSSIAN 103AAdvanced Russian4
RUSSIAN 103BAdvanced Russian4
RUSSIAN 105AAdvanced Russian/English/Russian Translation3
RUSSIAN 106AAdvanced Russian for Heritage Speakers3
RUSSIAN 120AAdvanced Russian Conversation and Communication2-3
RUSSIAN 120BAdvanced Russian Conversation and Communication2-3
SLAVIC 131Literature, Art, and Society in 20th-Century Russia4
SLAVIC 132Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and the English Novel4
SLAVIC 133The Novel in Russia and the West4
SLAVIC 134AGogol4
SLAVIC 134CDostoevsky4
SLAVIC 134DTolstoy4
SLAVIC 134EChekhov4
SLAVIC 134FNabokov4
SLAVIC 134GTolstoy and Dostoevsky4
SLAVIC C134NRussia and Asia4
SLAVIC C137Introduction to Slavic Linguistics4
SLAVIC 138Topics in Russian and Soviet Film4
SLAVIC 139Post-Soviet Cultures4
SLAVIC 147AEast Slavic Folklore3
SLAVIC 148ACCultures of Captivity: Prison Literature in the U.S. and Russia3
SLAVIC 181Readings in Russian Literature4
SLAVIC 182Pushkin4
SLAVIC 188Russian Prose4
SLAVIC 190Russian Culture Taught in Russian: Country, Identity, and Language4
SLAVIC 191Russian Culture and Language in the Contemporary World4

Russian heritage speakers should see the language placement approval instructions.


These courses may be chosen in any combination by the student, in consultation with the major adviser. A course from another related department may be substituted with approval of the major adviser.


The department provides programmatic and individual advising services to prospective and current students who are pursuing major and minor tracks. Advisers assist with a range of issues including course selection, academic decision-making, achieving personal and academic goals, and maximizing the Berkeley experience.

Students who are looking to explore their options or are ready to declare a major, double major, or minor should contact the undergraduate student services adviser.

Advising Staff and Hours

Amanda Minafo
6303 Dwinelle Hall
Book appointments here.


Select a subject to view courses:


Slavic Languages and Literatures

Contact Information

Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

6303 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-642-2979

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Department Chair

Anne Nesbet

Undergraduate Faculty Advisor

Darya Kavitskaya

6219 Dwinelle

Undergraduate Student Services Advisor

Amanda Minafo

6303 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-642-4661

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